Redeeming Places, Locations, and Times
I went with some friends to Disney this past weekend, and this parade was really fun to run into!  The crowds were smaller than usual, so we got right along the road and got these fantastic pictures.  We were celebrating one friend’s birthday, so she had a pin that distinguished her! She got a lot of waves and congratulations from the characters!
Just goes to show that it’s always possible to tap into your inner kid!

Interesting, over the past two years, I've run into many things that wouldn't normally ratchet up a Disney trip to the top of my desired destinations.  As if I didn't really care to go before, these facts definitely pushed that possibility way down in the "I'd rather ____ than go there" category.  What I realized before I went though was that I had a golden opportunity to redeem times, locations, destinations, and experiences through the presence of God in our trip.  I had chosen to go to celebrate and honor my friend, who is going through an incredibly challenging time.  When I realized I'd have to compromise my own convictions to go, though, I knew I needed help.  God and I had a talk and I came out of it knowing that He was asking me to go to purify and sanctify the land, to take back experiences to His Lordship so He could deal with and cleanse them. 

Now, I'm not saying I'm all that.  I know I'm not.  But Christ in me is the hope of glory.  He cleanses and purifies.  He sanctifies, which means He saves things, reserving them for holy use.  Yes, even Disney.  That's His land it's on. Those are His people walking all around the place.  It's His time they're there on.  He often will call us into dark places to redeem those times.  Not often, and I don't think we should go unless called.  But we are His workmanship, created in advance to do the things He has called us to do (Ephesians 2:10).  

When Adam and Eve were created, they walked freely and authoritatively in the Garden.  Maybe not knowingly, but they were and are the crown of God's creation.  As sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, so are we.  His mission has not changed.  He intends still to have fellowship with us.  And in so doing, He goes with us if we allow Him to, and like Christ, we can say, "not my will, but yours."  As God's children, we are near and dear to His heart.  He intends to use us if we will awaken to that fact (Ephesians 5:14) and allow Him to use us.

How do we do that?  Oil and pray up!  Remember, James 5:16 says the fervent prayer of a righteous (wo)man avails much!  Also, do not doubt the call of the Lord!  I don't go if He doesn't call, but if He does, I know I am out of His will if I don't!  He desires obedience rather than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22).  If He calls you, He will equip you and go before you.  You have the assurance of His presence and strength.  Psalm 20 is full of encouragement for those of us in the days of trouble.

In the end, I'm so grateful I went because I saw the hand of the Lord in and with us as we went.  Our whole trip was smooth, fun, light and easy, and like riding a wave.  We’ve had such a year that it’s super important to laugh, and I got to with dear friends! We had so many laughs and such a good time in Orlando.  Plus, the sun was a refreshing balm!  Vitamin D and LIGHT were so helpful, along with fellowship, for my weary spirit!  

Comment below, when have you seen the Lord's hand recently?  Tell us about it and let us encourage each other!

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